Journalism student wins national Amnesty Media Award

Olivia Miller
Kenneth Sanchez, winner of the Student Journalist award at the Amnesty Media Awards 2020

Centre for Journalism (CfJ) graduate, Kenneth Sanchez, has won the Student Journalist award at the Amnesty Media Awards 2020.

Kenneth was awarded the accolade for his digital storytelling project carried out during the final year of his Journalism BA. Titled ‘Escaping the Chaos; Venezuelans in Peru’, the project details the struggles of the vast number of Venezuelan refugees trying to start new lives in Peru.

The judging panel included high-profile UK journalists from the BBC, Press Association and the Metro as well as representatives from Amnesty International UK, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organisation. The judges recognised that the ‘ambitious, multi-media project really showcased Kenneth’s talents as a writer, reporter and photojournalist’ and praised how Kenneth ‘demonstrated his ability to win the trust of his interviewees.’

Kenneth said: ‘I’m very pleased with winning this award and for the recognition that my work is getting, but I’m even more happy about the increased exposition and visibility that the Venezuelan story told in my project could get as a result of this award. I hope that the award helps to continue to create awareness about the situation that thousands of Venezuelan immigrants are in all around Latin America. They are in a very vulnerable position which has only gotten worse as a result of the pandemic. I hope this award can help them by continuing raising awareness about their situation.

‘Studying at the Centre for Journalism has been a wonderful experience for me. It not only gave me the tools to become a great journalist but also made me grow as a person. The CfJ is like a big family and I’m very grateful to them for everything.’

Ian Reeves, Head of CfJ added: ‘Kenneth’s project is superb. It was brilliantly researched and sourced, with a huge array of compelling stories. It provides a real insight into how the Venezuelan crisis has affected a range of ordinary people’s lives, while also giving users a great deal of agency in how they explore it. Different storytelling techniques are used very effectively, especially maps which chart both the general exodus to Peru and the individual journeys of the people involved.’

Earlier this year, Kenneth’s project also won ‘Best Education Story’ at the 2019 Shorthand Awards.